Time is money. Which is why Indian startup SearchTrade is looking to change how the Internet functions today by rewarding people with bitcoin for their time spent using search engines. Along with the ability to purchase keywords like assets, the innovative approach to search engine monetization may usher in a whole new industry.
Search engine marketing
Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization are terms that definitely strike a chord with most Internet marketers today. For someone hoping to quickly scale the reach of his or her new brand on the internet, search engine marketing is truly the best thing since sliced bread and it’s certainly bringing home the bacon for Google and it’s competitors such Bing, Baidu and others.
It is estimated that overall, U.S. marketers will spend more than US$103 billion on search, display, social media, and email marketing by 2019—but search will remain the largest share of interactive spending (about 44%).
The reason behind the success of this model is not a tough one to crack; it’s simply convenient and cost effective. 74% of Google users perform local searches and 84% follow up the search offline via a phone call, visit etc. in order to purchase the product. This effectiveness mixed with the ability to place ads on a pay-per-click basis for specific keywords makes the search engine a great medium for marketing in comparison to direct mail and other more expensive routes.
Innovation in the space is also not lacking with new players such as SmashFuse focusing on social search and discovery to provide users with more specific content. If user tracking isn’t your cup of tea, ethical search engine duckduckgo, which doesn’t track any its users, recently witnessed surges of 600% in direct searches and is on track to do 3 billion searches this year.
It pays to search
However, two entrepreneurs from India, Vishal Gupta and Rashmit Gupta argue that in most cases the innovation has been at the front end of the user experience. The most exciting piece of the pie, i.e. the revenue model, is still up for grabs. This is something they hope to change through their startup SearchTrade.
SearchTrade looks to reward users for their time spent searching for information on search engines. The plan is to incentivize the user with satoshis every time a keyword is entered. Where it gets interesting is that the user is also able to join in the network’s revenue pool by purchasing keywords as though it were assets. Once purchased, these keywords would then create revenue for the investor on every search generated involving the word throughout the network.
“Users should gain the maximum benefit from their valuable time and information; hence the reason for this unique approach in rewarding them with bitcoin. Time is money and the time has come for Internet users to be paid for their input. This proactive approach will change the way the Internet functions today.”
SearchTrade is set to launch in 107 days and has already generated a fan following by raising 91 BTC during a recent keyword presale.
So the question is, can you become a millionaire by spending more time searching for stuff on Google? It seems certain that in a world where Google’s ad revenue is now larger than that of the entire U.S. printing industry and startups like SearchTrade attempting to an create an even distribution, the question may be answered sooner than we expect.